Erasure are an English synth pop duo formed by songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell in 1985. It was the third successful pop group co-formed by Clarke (Depeche Mode and Yazoo being the first two). Erasure released twenty-four consecutive Top 20 hits in the United Kingdom and sold 25 million albums worldwide The band also enjoys popularity within the LGBT community, with openly homosexual Andy Bell being regarded a gay icon.
Erasure's first three singles were commercial failures in the UK, although the third, "Oh L'amour", charted well in Australia and some European countries (especially in France, where it still remains Erasure's only hit to date). Their fourth single, "Sometimes", peaked at number 2 and spent many weeks in the UK Top 40. The album The Circus, turned platinum in the UK with three additional hit singles - "It Doesn't Have To Be", "Victim of Love" and "The Circus". It remained on the charts for over a year.
The third album, The Innocents, was released in 1988. Preceded by the Top 10 single "Ship of Fools", the album hit number one in the UK on its initial release and returned to popularity a year later, eventually going triple platinum. It also turned platinum in the U.S., generating two Top 20 hits in "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect".
The Innocents was the first of five consecutive number one albums for Erasure in the UK - an achievement unmatched by any of their contemporaries. Wild! in 1989 and Chorus in 1991 both contained four Top 20 singles.
In late 1988, an EP, Crackers International, led by the song "Stop!", hit number two in the UK singles chart. This was bettered in 1992 by another EP, Abba-esque, covering four ABBA hits, which became Erasure's first number one in the UK Singles Chart. Later that year, a singles compilation, Pop! - the First 20 Hits, also hit number one and went triple platinum.
The 1995 release of the album Erasure marked a determined shift away from their signature three minute synth-pop to a more introspective sound.
In spite of a return to three minute pop songs, the 1997 album Cowboy did not restore the success of their 1986-1994 era. Cowboy enjoyed a short-lived success, peaking at number ten in the UK but lasted only two weeks on the UK Top 40.
In 2000, the album Loveboat was released, peaking at number 45.
The 2003 release Other People's Songs was a collection of cover versions such as the first single from the album, Peter Gabriel's song "Solsbury Hill" which reached number ten in the UK Singles Chart. Erasure were invited to perform on Top of the Pops for the first time since March 1997.
Erasure's 2005 album Nightbird's first single, "Breathe", reached number four in the UK charts (their first Top 5 hit in more than a decade) and achieved the number one position on the U.S. Dance Chart, eighteen years after their first chart-topper. The next single, "Don't Say You Love Me," enabled purchasers to configure their own remixes of the single through the band's website, with each variant of the song limited to a single download.
Union Street was a 2006 side-project which featured a collection of previously released album tracks that the band reinterpreted in an acoustic/country & western style. The album was named after the recording studio in Brooklyn where it was recorded.
The duo then released a more 'dance oriented' album than some of their more recent work. Titled Light at the End of the World, the album was produced by Gareth Jones and was released on 21 May 2007 in the UK, and in North America the following day. The album was preceded by its first single "I Could Fall in Love with You" in April and a second single, "Sunday Girl", was released in June..
Vince Clarke has stated in radio interviews that the band wants to complete the concept album of nursery rhymes that they have been working on for some time.
Vince Clarke said in an interview coinciding with the reunion of Yazoo with Alison Moyet, that Andy Bell is writing new material for a solo album with Stephen Hague (who Erasure worked with in 1988 on 'The Innocents' album) which will be released later this year and that Erasure will begin writing new material in middle of 2009.